Arsenal have the chance to use Bernd Leno’s sale to secure the signing of a full-back. The Gunners were left exposed in the defensive position towards the end of the season, and it is a situation that Mikel Arteta needs to address.
According to the Sun, Leno is wanted by Benfica in the summer transfer window. There is an issue with the deal because the Portuguese side are currently unable to meet Arsenal’s £8.5m valuation for the goalkeeper.
This news came before reports from Portuguese news outlet Record that Benfica need to save €40m (£34m) in wages ahead of the next season, meaning they could offload their best players. Alex Grimaldo is a player amongst their ranks, and he would certainly be a good signing for Arsenal to solve the full-back issues.
Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo had previously reported that Arsenal were interested in signing Grimaldo. But, this interest was registered when Unai Emery was still the Gunners’ boss.
The Spanish international has tons of experience and has shown the quality which would also see him compete with Kieran Tierney for a starting spot in the team, instead of just being an understudy to the Scotsman.
Arsenal had already signed a full-back from Benfica in the previous transfer window after Nuno Tavares joined the club for a £7m fee. Despite an impressive start to life in north London, Tavares gradually showed his defensive vulnerability and inexperience in the position.
The Gunners will need to strengthen at left-back to have better cover for Tierney who has been prone to injury since making the switch from Celtic in 2019. Grimaldo would certainly be the preferred option, and he could be signed for a bargain deal if Leno is offered as part of a deal for the Spaniard.
Grimaldo came through the ranks at La Masia before making 92 appearances for Barcelona B. He would then move on to Benfica where has gone on to make 249 appearances for the Portuguese side and has impressively contributed with 50 assists since his move.
The 26-year-old also has the versatility to his game as he can also be utilised as a winger, where he has also played on numerous occasions for Benfica this season. This highlights his impressive attacking ability because he is able to play further up the field which would be useful for Arsenal next season.
This is certainly a transfer that would benefit Arteta ahead of the next campaign. Using Leno as a pawn could help Edu get a potential deal over the line.